Brother councillors fail in house bid for historic village

Tom FitzPatrick, left, and Vincent FitzPatrick, both North Norfolk District Councillors, had a bid f

Tom FitzPatrick, left, and Vincent FitzPatrick, both North Norfolk District Councillors, had a bid for permission to build a house in a yard in Walsingham rejected by the same council's planning committee. Images: Norfolk Conservatives/Vincent FitzPatrick - Credit: Archant

A councillor has vowed to try again after a bid to build a home in the middle of a historic village was rejected.

Bridewell Street in Little Walsingham. Image: Google SteetView

Bridewell Street in Little Walsingham. Image: Google SteetView - Credit: Archant

Tom and Vincent FitzPatrick, who are both councillors on North Norfolk District Council, wanted to build a two-storey, two-bedroom home in a yard behind an existing house in Bridewell Street in Little Walsingham.

But members of the council’s planning committee voted down the plans by 9-4 at a meeting on October 15.

Tom FitzPatrick, a former leader of the council when it was Conservative-run, said: “We are disappointed, we believe it fulfilled the criteria.

“But we are pleased that they accepted the principle that something is possible there.

“There is modern development in that area, so my brother and I will consult with our designer and we’ll look to see how we can move forward and get something that is acceptable.”

The committee followed council officers’ recommendation in rejecting the plans.

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Committee member, councillor Angie Fitch-Tillett said the design, which featured brick and wooden cladding, was out of keeping with the area, which is home to may historic buildings.

She said: “Walsingham is a very special place - it is nationally, in fact internationally, known.

“This is a conservation area and it must keep the character that has been established over many centuries.”

Concerns were also raised over the ability of motorists to back in or out of the home’s driveway safely, and over the loss of a number of mature fruit trees at the site.

Councillor Richard Kershaw added: “This area provides a very welcome open space in what is a very crowded village. I do accept the trees may be past their best but they do offer some feeling of open space and relief.”

Councillor Nigel Peace spoke in favour of the plans, calling the yard a “disused wasteland”, but planning officer Sarah Ashurst said it was not “disused land”.

Speaking on behalf of the applicants, Fakenham-based architect Richard Smith said: “It would be in keeping with the closed-in nature of Chapel Yard, and, indeed much of Walsingham.

“Care has been taken to ensure that the dwelling would have a minimal impact on neighbouring properties and to ensure there would be no unacceptable overlooking of the neighbours.”

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